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Bethlehem Bethlehem University News - Volume 18

Issue No. 1


University in the

Holy Land

Inspiring Innovation ... Creating the Future

A Message from the Vice Chancellor Here at Bethlehem University we talk quite a lot about hope. In many ways hope is the underlying factor in all that we do. As an oasis of hope and peace, we bring a sense of values and the sacred to our daily lives and to our views of education. Our dedicated faculty and staff work hard to match the education that we are providing to the actual needs of the Palestinian society. For our students, living as they do in the midst of occupation, they must be educated to face the realities Palestine today – and into the future. With your support, our faculty and students together are inspiring innovation and creating the future. One of the significant issues that concerns us as a University is to insure that our programs prepare our students to create the future of Palestine, helping them to continue with relevant graduate education and to also find meaningful employment. This is why our faculty are continuously involved in self-assessment and quality review activities. The graduates of Bethlehem University are building their futures here in Palestine. In coming here to Bethlehem University, I knew that I wanted to focus on teaching and learning, and how research and community service are integrated into the teaching and learning process. These are core realities for us as a University – and mindful of our role as a Catholic university – values, morals, and ethics are infused throughout all we do. This issue of our University Newsletter highlights some of the ways our students, faculty and staff are involved in comprehensive and innovative education that is rooted in the needs of the Palestinian society. In particular, you’ll read about our ongoing efforts to provide practical career development education for our students, helping them transfer their classroom knowledge into work that contributes to their country. This new career development initiative would not be possible without the support Cardinal Foley, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and other benefactors such as Lieutenant Mary O’Brien and the USA Northwestern Lieutenancy who established the John McGuckin Mentorship Program, and the foundational inspiration of Mr. Cor Jan van Heesewijk of The Netherlands Lieutenancy who pioneered these internships and career focused efforts. We are most grateful! Together, and by association, we are all building a future of hope for the people of Palestine. Thank you!

Sincerely, Brother Peter Bray, FSC, EdD Vice Chancellor


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Published by the Development and Public Relations Office Editorial Committee Ms. Dina Awwad (BU ’05) Brother Jack Curran, FSC Ms. Stephanie Rhodes Contributors Sister Ruby Abellana, spc Ms. Nadira Araj Mr. Demitri Awwad Ms. Dina Awwad (BU ’05) Ms. Vera Baboun Brother Peter Bray, FSC Mr. Philip Daoud Mr. Elias Halabi (BU ’07) Ms. Rania Hazboun (BU ’96) Mr. Joseph Hodali (BU ’08) Ms. May Jaber Father Jamal Khader Ms. Haifa Lama Brother Joseph Loewenstein, FSC Brother Jean Manuel, FSC Dr. Norma Hazboun Masrieh Ms. Raphaela Fischer Moura Ms. Nida Qumseih Mr. Mousa Rabadi Ms. Mary Sabella Brother David Scarpa, FSC Brother Dominic Smith, FSC Dr. Inge Tiemann Mr. Max von Danwitz Dr. Hala Yamani Photography: Bassel Mansour (BU ’09) Dima Musallam (BU ’10) David Clement Elias Halabi (BU ’07) Special Thanks Student Ambassadors Design and Printing: Nour Design & Print Co. Selina Tabash Nour (BU ’98) David Nour (BU ’95) Electronic address: Temporary mailing address: Public Relations Office PO Box 11407 92248 Jerusalem Location address: Rue des Frères Bethlehem, Palestine USA address: Ms. Kate Casa Executive Director Brother Dominic Smith, FSC Executive Assistant Bethlehem University Hecker Center, Suite 330 3025 Fourth St, NE Washington, DC 20017-1102 Tel. 202-567-6097

Table of Contents Remembrances Brother Georges Absi appointed President Feedback + BU Mission Statement Forum theater meets the German street Continuing education for development “My hidden talents” Incubating success Resistance with Love as Its Logic Technology & the Culture of Democracy Student Music Group The People of Malta Enhance Technology at Bethlehem University Defining Freedom By Its Limits Changing Attitudes to Save Lives Bethlehem and Georgetown Fostering Hope in the Holy Land Mapping Genes that matter Developing Palestine Social Work Palestine Transformational Development Visitors Thank You How Can You Help 3

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4 5 6 7 8 9

Bethlehem University in Figures 2009 - 2010 Student enrollment:

Master’s Degree: 87 Higher Diploma: 239 Professional Diploma: 42 Baccalaureate: 2,589 Diploma: 97 Total Student Enrollment: 3,054

Faculty and staff: 311

Full- and Part-time Faculty: 164 Full- and Part-time Staff: 147

Student Demographics 26%



10 11






Student Home Areas Bethlehem

12 13 14 15 16 19 23

Jerusalem Hebron Other

60% 30% 8% 2%

Sources of Income

Student-paid tuition

Donations for Student Scholarships

Donations, Gifts & Grants for Operations & Programs

Vatican Gift Palestinian Authority Allocation

Remembrances Remembrances

Brother Mark Boyle, FSC, passed away on 10 August 2009 after having served students in his native England as well as in Nigeria and at Bethlehem University in the Finance Office and as an English teacher from 1999 through 2003. “He was a very much liked teacher,” says Brother David Scarpa. “He was my guide, a father figure to me,” reflects Kaied Ghiyatha (BU’02). “Brother Mark was a delight in Community,” remembers Brother Neil Kieffe. “A man of simple and unassuming faith and a simplicity of life” is how Brother Anthony Porter describes Brother Mark.

Sister Mary Bellarmine Aristorenas, spc, passed away on 6 August 2009. In addition to serving in her native Philippines, at Bethlehem University from 1991 through 1999 she taught Nursing and also worked in the Archives. “By nature and as a nurse she was a caring and friendly person,” is how her library colleague Rebecca Calaor describes Sister. “She was a humble, modest, and joyful person,” recalls Dr. Mellie Brodeth. Sister Mary was laid to rest in Cebu, Philippines, next to her sister in Christ, Sister Violetta Ortega, who also served at Bethlehem University from 1999 through 2004.

May the souls of Brother Mark, Sister Mary and all the faithful departed rest in peace.

Brother Georges Absi Appointed New President of Bethlehem University On 17 June 2009 Vice Chancellor Brother Peter Bray announced that Brother Georges Absi will serve as President of Bethlehem University, succeeding His Beatitude Archbishop Fuad Twal who served from March 2006. “I am grateful for the service of Archbishop Twal as President of Bethlehem University and am delighted that the educational efforts of Bethlehem University will continue to be blessed throughout the Holy Land with


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his support as the Patriarch of Jerusalem,” noted Brother Peter Bray. “Bethlehem University is also well served with Brother Georges Absi’s leadership and commitment. He has a deep appreciation for the mission of Bethlehem University and likewise brings significant competence to this new responsibility.” Brother Georges, a native of Egypt, is the Provincial Superior of the Proche Orient overseeing numerous Lasallian educational enterprises in Turkey, Lebanon,

Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the Sudan. He served on the Board of Trustees of Bethlehem University since 2003 and is highly respected throughout the Middle East in the educational field. The President of the University serves as a representative of the Vice Chancellor with the Association of Arab Universities and presides over graduation and other official University ceremonies.


“What a pleasant surprise to see a photograph in your magazine of my husband and me from when our Equestrian Order visited the University. I enjoy reading about and supporting the University.” Mrs. Carole Cannon, Edinburgh, Scotland

Bethlehem University Mission Statement

“Thanks to Bethlehem University for its warm hospitality during our pilgrimages with Kevin McGuirk, our pilgrim master. The visits were warm and informative, helping us to understand the needs there and the day to day situation for one of the works we support.” Thomas Mulligan, KC*HS, Lincolnwood, Illinois, USA

“The last issue of Bethlehem University News surpassed all others; they just keep getting better all the time!”

Florence I. Gregoric, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

“The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is proud of our association with Bethlehem University and hope that the research being funded will bring us closer to our shared goal of prevention and a cure.”

“I read about the semester exchange program at the Universidad LaSalle in Mexico City for Vivian Ghobar (BU ’10). She mentions that many students in Mexico told her that she was the first Palestinian they met. At the University of Stuttgart in Myra J. Biblowit, President, and Germany where I am working Margaret Mastrianni, Deputy on a Masters in Information Director, New York, NY, USA Technology, I met a Mexican student who told me that I was “Thank you for the work of the second Palestinian she met! Bethlehem University. We pray for And yes, last year she was in class you and the faculty and students with Vivian at the Universidad LaSalle in Mexico City! What an and alumni.” amazingly small world!” Kathie Armstrong, Columbia, Maryland, USA

Talk Back 5

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Bethlehem University is a Catholic co-educational institution in the Lasallian tradition whose mission is to provide quality higher education to the people of Palestine and to serve them in its role as a center for the advancement, sharing and use of knowledge. The University emphasizes excellence in academic programs and the development of students as committed people prepared to assume leading positions in society. The University aspires to foster shared values, moral principles and a dedication to serving the common good.

Amir Bannoura (BU ’08)

Tell us what you think about our programs, our newsletter, your visit… tell us about YOU! We want to hear from you! E-mail us at

Forum Theater Meets The German Street Palestinian Theater of the Oppressed in Germany: A Unique Exercise in Multiculturalism The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Association for Development Cooperation of German Catholics (AGEH) provided a venue for Dr. Hala Yamani of the Faculty of Education and Dr. Inge Tiemann, AGEH-sponsored Visiting Consultant for Participatory Learning at Bethlehem University, to bring together Bethlehem University students with German street-theater actors in a unique cross-cultural transformative learning experience using forum theater. During the Fall 2009 semester seven Bethlehem students traveled to Germany and engaged with three German actors of the street-theater group headed by Francisco Mirallas Hernández to present a new version of the Bethlehem University Drama Society forum theater production of Leish la? (Why Not?). “The original concept of Leish la?,” explains Dr. Hala Yamani, Assistant Professor of Education and Director of the Bethlehem University Drama 6

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Society, “was to express the right of women to be equal to men.” The play depicts a female student’s struggles running for a seat in the male-dominated university Student Senate. In one scene, Dr. Hala explains, “the man is saying politics is not for women…it needs a power base that women don’t possess.” “In the new production, by playing the role of students coming from Germany to study Arabic in Bethlehem, the German students bring an intercultural dimension to the play’s conflicts,” says Dr. Inge. “This had the added advantage of building a bridge to the German audience,” who were themselves unfamiliar with the inner workings of Palestinian society. The partnership exposed both groups of student-actors to different teaching and learning methodologies. The focus of the German street theater group is primarily to explore a topic that’s already a subject of public interest whereas “the Palestinian focus

also involves asking the audience to actually get involved in the production, to put themselves in the place of the protagonist, and to imagine change,” says Dr. Hala. It was “incredibly interesting,” says Zhim-xum Ho, a member of the German group, “While we had some differences, the similarities were greater.” Nathalie Asmari (BU ’11) saw the experience as “a great enrichment.” Dr. Hala Yamani trains students preparing to be teachers and others in forum theater techniques and skills. She began incorporating forum theater in her teacher education work at the Faculty of Education at Bethlehem University upon her return from her doctoral program in the United Kingdom a few years ago. Forum theater is a powerful transformative teaching and learning methodology. “It’s the best for us to raise the awareness of the community about issues of injustice and oppression,” says Dr. Hala.

Continuing Education for Development “My Hidden Talents” Career Coach Guides Students in Career Development Workshop

Online Professional Diplomas

“I learned that I have abilities that can make a difference in the lives of others,” wrote one participant in the 3 July 2009 Career Development Workshop organized by Mary Sabella of the Counseling Office and Philip Daoud of the Alumni Relations Office.

in Project Management and E-business

There’s a big difference between being an industry expert and being a successful business owner. For instance, having superior knowledge of IT systems doesn’t automatically sell those services to paying consumers. Sometimes Palestinian business owners face exactly that problem. “Through our needs assessment research we found a gap in the private sector,” explains Eman Hadweh, Program Officer at Bethlehem University’s Institute for Community Partnership (ICP), “with many small business owners having technical background but not having business marketing and managerial background.” With small and medium enterprises making up ninetynine percent of the Palestinian business sector, improving


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their performance is crucial for economic development. But getting working professionals into the classroom is a major challenge. So Bethlehem University introduced Palestine’s first-ever online accredited professional diplomas in Project Management and E-Business as part of a blended learning format that combines online coursework with occasional face-to-face class time. The first cohort graduated on 17 July 2009. With initial funding from the World Bank and the European Commission, the diplomas have become self-sustaining. The reason is simple, says Eman, “Participants find the program helpful and are willing to pay because they see it as an investment in their future success.”

With the cooperation of the Expos(t)e Foundation, Ms. Caroline Bun, an international career and personal development coach from The Netherlands, led students through personal exploration activities designed to help them understand their strengths, values, beliefs, and potential. Participants were enthusiastic as they envisioned their future professional lives. Ms. Bun noted that some participants “had big insights and others became aware of some limitations they created for themselves.” Building upon the initiative of Mr. Cor Jan van Heesewijk and Mr. Ben Dicker of The Netherlands Lieutenancy of the EOHSJ, more career preparation activities, including opportunities for mentoring, internship, and apprentice placements are forthcoming through the cooperation of the Counseling Office, Alumni Office, and faculty members with funding support from H.E. Cardinal John Foley, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order, Lieutenant Mary O’Brien of the USA Northwestern Lieutenancy, and the Doty Family.

INCUBATING SUCCESS Q: You’re a Computer Information Systems graduate of Bethlehem University. So what got you interested in computers in the first place? Joseph: I guess you can say that I followed in my father’s footsteps. He’s a systems analyst who studied in London. For 17 years we have had our family computer business in Bethlehem. I’ve been working with him a lot since childhood. When I finished high school I thought about studying neurosurgery in Italy, but decided to focus on computer

and special needs people. My classmates and I focused on helping paralyzed persons control the movement of the cursor on the monitor by using their thoughts. Working with our faculty advisor, Dr. Suheil Odeh, Maha Sleibi (BU ’08), Elia’ Salsa’ (BU ’08) and I used a medical device called an electroencephalogram that is used in hospitals to detect and analyze brain waves and we choose the waves that control what we want. Q: You had to figure out which brainwave corresponds to a thought for moving the cursor in

Joseph Hodali (BU ’08) is developing a new computer information systems business model, supported by funding from the World Bank through the LaSalle Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (LCEI) at Bethlehem University. Here, Joseph talks about what inspired him to study computers in the first place. information systems at Bethlehem University instead since there is a wide span of applications of technology these days. You can find technology everywhere and it is developing so fast. For example, I did my Senior Seminar on braincomputer interfaces where you blend neurosurgery, computer engineering, and electrical engineering to help paralyzed

a particular direction then code the programming to actually move the computer cursor based on that recognition? Joseph: Yes, that’s it. And we got accurate results in how the algorithm classified the brain waves for the left hand and for the right hand. Eighty percent of the time it worked!

Your Help Is Needed! The newly established Alumni Relations Office assists the faculty in seeking professional career mentors as well as business organizations to offer local and international internship placement opportunities for current Bethlehem University students and recent graduates like Joseph Hodali. If you are interested in serving as a career mentor or if you know of opportunities for career internship opportunities, Please Visit Mr. Philip Daoud, Alumni Relations Officer 8

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Resistance with Love as Its Logic

Technology & the Culture of Democracy

Palestinian Christians Speak of Faith, Hope, and Love in the Midst of Occupation Nadira Araj & Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang at the IGF09 Opening Session

Social Networks, Privacy, & Freedom of Expression For more than two years, Father Jamal Khader, Dean of Arts and Chairperson of Religious Studies, has been working with other Christian Palestinian theologians on a statement “of faith, hope and love” concerning the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. The Palestinian Kairos Initiative published “A Moment of Truth” on 11 December 2009. Reflecting on a similar Kairos movement which occurred in South Africa in 1985 based on the concept that discrimination is a sin, the Palestinian Christians call the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands a sin, and wrote about their reality of life under occupation and declare a theology of justice and human dignity. 9

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“This means for us, here and now, in this land in particular, that God created us not so that we might engage in strife and conflict but rather that we might come and know and love one another, and together build up the land in love and mutual respect.” This is the message that Bethlehem University seeks to impart to our Christian and Muslim students each day through formal interreligious dialogue as well as through the realities of our daily shared campus life. “A Moment of Truth” urges communities of faith to “come and see” this Holy Land to know its people and reality.

(Copies of the document are available via: archives/2009/2009_076.shtml)

Ms. Nadira Araj, Lecturer in Business Administration, didn’t just attend the 4th Internet Governance Forum (IGF09), she tweeted it! One of 20 DiploFoundation Internet Governance Capacity Building fellows (and the only one from Palestine), Ms. Araj reported live on event sessions at the IGF in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from 1518 November 2009 via tweeting and blogging. The IGF gathers stakeholders from government and civil society to address internet policies, including privacy, security, cyber-crime, and net neutrality. As a research fellow, Ms. Araj explores issues of intellectual property rights and open access.

Student Music Group Combines Music with Memory The Bethlehem University curriculum includes required courses in religious studies, human rights, Arabic, and English. Students also have a fine arts requirement, providing opportunities to explore the historical and modern expressions of art, music, film, and theater.

In addition to the University’s Student Choir under the direction of Sister Patricia Crockford, this Fall saw the debut of Wajd, a new student musical


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group under the direction of Ms. May Jaber, Assistant to the Dean of Students. Wajd is named in honor of Mr. Wajd Za’rour, a saxophone player and member of the class of 2011 who died in a car accident on 20 January 2008. His mother, sister and grandmother were present for the 19 November 2009 opening performance. “When he was a student with us, Wajd dreamed of starting a musical group,” explains Ms. Jaber. After his death, fellow

student and saxophone player Tamer Al Sahouri (BU’10), who studied for 11 years at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM), worked hard with other students like Manar Alami (BU ’11), to make Wajd’s dream a reality. The Wajd group also performed at the 23 December “Rock to Bethlehem Concert” which was co-sponsored by the University Alumni Relations Office with the efforts of Mr. Elias Halabi (BU ’07).

Defining Freedom By Its Limits Expressing Thoughts Through Art

”Freedom is a vague concept in Palestine,” says Ms. Samar Ghattas who teaches art at Bethlehem University. “Living under occupation,” she continues “has distorted Palestinians’ understanding of freedom because we have limited opportunities to exercise it.” During the Fall 2009 semester her Art Appreciation students reflected on personal and social freedom to prepare for their 4 December 2009 Exhibition. “Art is the conclusion of a process of asking oneself questions and searching for answers,” posits Ms. Ghattas. “Our goal is for students to come to appreciate art as the product of human thought.”

Changing Attitudes

to Save Lives “Many Palestinians used to have very negative ideas about donating blood,” says Mai Jaber, Assistant to the Dean of Students. “Some thought it weakened the body, and others were simply terrified of blood and needles.” However, thanks to a successful awareness campaign conducted by the University’s Nursing students, nearly 150 students and faculty donated blood in the November 2009 Blood Drive.


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The People of Malta Enhance Technology at Bethlehem University

“We are grateful for the government and people of Malta as part of our family of benefactors whose support and presence among us are powerful reminders that indeed we are not forgotten,” said Brother Peter Bray during a signing ceremony with Mr. Alan Bugeja, Representative of Malta to the Palestinian Authority. Earlier in the Fall 2009 semester, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tonio Borg, and Mr. Bugeja visited Bethlehem University to affirm the long-standing support of the Maltese people and government for the educational efforts of Bethlehem University. More than ten Bethlehem University graduates have earned their Masters in Human Rights and Democratization from the University of Malta. On 16 December 2009 Mr. Bugeja signed a grant on behalf of his government, pledging to assist Bethlehem University with funds to purchase new computer equipment as part of the commitment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Bethlehem University Graduate completes Masters Degree at Georgetown University With Honors! It is good news that Raphaela Fischer Mourra earned her bachelors from Bethlehem University, the oldest Catholic university in the Holy Land, in 2007. You might say it is greater news that she earned her masters from Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic university in the United States, in 2009. However, for Raphael and for the people of Palestine, the best news is that she is now back home in Bethlehem as a faculty member in the English Department at Bethlehem University!

Thanks to the significant financial support of an anonymous donor and with her own superior academic achievements as an English major at Bethlehem University, Raphaela Fischer Mourra (BU’07) completed her Masters in Journalism at Georgetown University in Washington, DC in June 2009 – with highest honors!

Inspiring Innovation ... Creating the Future! 12

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Encouraged by her teachers at Bethlehem University, supported by her family and a generous anonymous donor, Raphaela is one of the Bethlehem graduates returning to serve the people of Palestine through education. Raphaela’s present situation is remarkable. Her future (and that of her students) is looking even brighter. She brings with her a personal background of strength and determination. The memoir that Raphaela wrote for her Georgetown masters program (http://www.welcom. was powerfully startling and gives us a glimpse of her character. Her father, Dr. Harry Fischer, a German medical doctor, volunteered to come to Palestine in 1980 to work at Life Gate with people who are disabled. Here Harry met Norma, a social worker at the Bethlehem Social Welfare Directorate, with whom he fell in love and married a year later. In the year 2000, Raphaela was in her early teens. Her town of Beit Jala was a place of intense violence with frequent gun battles between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians. “When the political upheaval started,” recalls Raphaela, “Dad

refused to abandon what had become ‘his country’ and ‘his people.’ He felt he could help his patients even more during such hard times.” Then on November 16th, some neighbors cried for help. Their home was bombed by an Israeli fighter jet. Raphaela’s father ran out to help. However, tragically, while he was attending to the medical needs of a person who was shot in the street, Dr. Harry himself was also hit by rocket fire from the Israeli military and killed. “Harry was the last word uttered by my Mom before going into complete silence,” Raphaela wrote for her graduate course thesis paper, “…we understood everything. And everything meant nothing. Nothing was left of him. We became fatherless.” Dr. Harry’s funeral was attended by more than 10,000 people. Bethlehem University is proud to have Ms. Raphaela Fischer Mourra, daughter of Dr. Harry and Norma Fischer, wife of Munir (who is also a graduate of Bethlehem University, Social Work, 2000), and mother of Ariana (3 year old daughter), as a faculty member. Welcome home Professor Raphaela!

MAPPING GENES That Matter Research helps Palestinian Families Understand Disease Risk No Hereditary Research Lab (HRL) existed in Palestine when Professor Dr. Moien Kanaan returned in 1993 from his graduate studies in the United States. Now, at Bethlehem University a well-respected lab exists, significant findings have resulted, and a Masters Degree in Biotechnology is in place to prepare highly qualified personnel for careers in university teaching and research; medical and agriculture labs; pharmaceutical companies and vaccine production plants; and food industry and environmental monitoring organizations. With a historically high rate of close-relation marriages, the increased potential for genetic diseases also presents significant potential for learning about genetic mutations that can provide critical information for families and doctors concerning genetic diseases and their prevention, provided there are appropriate ethical and moral interventions and scientific research activities involved. For more than fifteen years, Dr. Moien and his colleagues at Bethlehem University as well as Dr. Mary Claire King and her colleagues at the University of Washington and others have made tremendous strides in this sort of research. With significant grant funding from a variety of sources, they’ve pulled together equipment and human resources to research conditions like autism, congenital heart disease, breast cancer and hearing loss: diseases with strong genetic components that take a high toll on the Palestinian population. Their work on breast cancer, for instance, reflects concern among Palestinian health experts over a dramatic increase in the number of new breast cancer cases, with breast cancer making up 36% of new cancer diagnoses in women. There also seems to be a shift towards more breast cancer diagnoses in relatively young women, with high risk families having with multiple cases of breast and/or ovarian cancer among close family members. The breast cancer research conducted at the HRL at Bethlehem University is in its third year of funding through the US-based Breast 13

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Cancer Research Foundation and is designed to provide the basis for genetic counseling for families at high risk. Dr. Moien explains that researchers believe that a germ line mutation may be present in high risk families, which may also increase susceptibility to environmental damage that ultimately triggers cancerous cell changes. Research so far has found two genetic changes among the 180 participating families, leading researchers to use different testing methods to find structural changes that DNA analysis would have missed. The HRL’s most established research project involves the genetics of hearing loss. This has been ongoing for about a decade and is funded through the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). About 2% of Palestinians are born with hearing loss, which is double the global rate, and intermarriage is most likely a major factor in these dramatically high rates. Investigation has so far led scientists to map 5 loci of interest from genetic mutations responsible for hearing loss. So what is the difference between a gene and a locus? In real terms, explains Dr. Moien, “coming to Bethlehem is the locus; coming to my office is the gene.” Researchers at the HRL have also been able to profile about 25 novel changes that are only reported in the Palestinian population, meaning they’ve documented changes that haven’t shown up in any previous scientific reports. The results of the HRL work are made available to individuals and families to help them learn and understand about risk factors for hereditary diseases.

Developing Palestine

Graduating the Third Cohort of Change Leaders for Palestine “In Palestine we find that economic, social, and cultural development has been supported and often times directed by international organizations. While their roles are significant and appreciated, we need local Palestinians more involved in directing the development Palestinian society,” says Dr. Fadi Kattan, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Program Director for the Masters in International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) at Bethlehem University. This is one of the

underpinnings of the successful establishment of the MICAD program which had 24 graduates in its third cohort on 6 November 2009 joining the 51 previous Masters degree graduates.

societal needs with the realities of the international development field, offering courses in the social sciences, international relations, politics, economics, development theory, and project management.

“This program is so valuable,” remarks Mr. Rami Sabella, MICAD Academic Coordinator, “because it leads us towards an income-dependent state.” MICAD is a two-years Masters degree designed for working professionals whose responsibilities link Palestinian

“This graduation sustains hope in all of us that our country is in a good condition with such talented men and women committed to improving themselves and our society,” remarked Mr. Fuad Kattan, Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Social Work Palestine

Del Rio Family Foundation & University of Washington Social Work Faculty at the University of Washington. Dr. Eddie and her colleague, Dr. Ratnesh Nagda, accompanied the Del Rio family – Nelson, Suzanne and Nelson Jr. – for an August 2009 exploratory visit to Bethlehem University to get a taste of the situation in Palestine and to consider ways social work might change things for the better. “Our time in Bethlehem was so intense, inspiring, and lifechanging,” writes Dr. Eddie Uehara, Dean of the School of Social Work 14

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The visit convinced them that social work has a unique role to play in Palestine through Bethlehem University. “Having the wonderful conversations with

our new-found kindred spirits and colleagues, and being able to take in some of the experiences of the larger community,” says Dr. Ratnesh, “have convinced me about the important work of nation-building that we have to do together.” The Del Rio family has generously agreed to support a University of Washington – Bethlehem University partnership to strengthen the presence of social work at Bethlehem. Potential outcomes of this initiative include

Transformational Development Exploring Gender, Technology, and Dialogue (as distinct from mainstream American feminism of the 1960s and 70s), the transformational approach “empowers individuals to understand and articulate their own needs, promoting what will ultimately be more sustainable change generated by local communities,” explains Ms. Baboun. “I am an agent of change in my own life,” says Ms. Vera Baboun, an English Instructor at Bethlehem University who also lectures on gender to students in the Masters in International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) program and leads gender training on various UNESCO-funded projects. Her work is part of a comprehensive development philosophy in which “transformational” development needs to complement what is often an economic-focused “sustainable” development perspective of international aid agencies. Rooted in gender theory and ethnic American feminism

To Ms. Baboun it’s very clear that gender matters must involve both men and women. “It is both of them,” she says, “or it will fail.” Teaching gender from a transformational development perspective means re-examining the role of power in human relationships. “Each of us own a specific kind of power,” Ms. Baboun posits, “either I use power as a force or as a capacity; offering completion, extension, and elaboration to others, rather than trying to keep power as a monopoly.” Gender is a complicated issue in development. It can be “a way to face or to oppose progress,” Ms. Baboun explains, with societies

clinging firmly to traditional genders roles as a way to counter change. When 25 Bethlehem University students participated with students from Champlain University in an online global learning module last spring, the course revealed conflicting perceptions about women in the West. Some Bethlehem University students found acceptable Western behavior inappropriate, while others admired the perceived freedom. For some of the Palestinian students, it was the first time they had tackled issues of gender in an academic setting. The internet-based course discussions between the Bethlehem University students and their American counterparts, which centered on an analysis of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, were designed to push students’ boundaries. As individuals and as a group they were encouraged to critically examine themes of “women as the other, women as the second sex” as well as the roles culture and religion may play in defining gender expectations.

graduate education in the US, and developing the first Master of Social Work program in the West Bank.

enhancing the undergraduate social work curriculum, supporting youth leadership, interfaith dialogue, and nation building 15

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components, providing exchange opportunities for UW faculty and students in Bethlehem, facilitating Bethlehem faculty further

“What amazing work you are all doing!” writes Nelson Del Rio Sr. “The time Nelson Jr. spent with you and the Brothers is the first significant amount of time he has spent with men of faith committed to education and it has set a wonderful impression in his mind of what commitment, faith, and love can do. He really does see the Brothers as a group of Super Heroes like the Fantastic Four plus a few more.”

28 July 2009 YMCA-YWCA Journey for Justice

26 Aug 2009 Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter with Brother Peter Bray

16 Sept 2009 Catholic Theological Union, Chicago with Fr. Donald Senior

30 Sept 2009 Father Stefan Kemmler, Switzerland 2 Oct 2009 Birmingham Diocese Pilgrimage


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7 Oct 2009: Belgian Technical Cooperation, Dr. Jaak Lenvain

11 Oct 2009: EOHSJ, USA Western with Patrick Powers

13 Oct 2009 Dr. Detlef Br端mmer and Family, Germany, with Scholarship Students 15 Oct 2009 EOHSJ, USA Northern Lieutenancy with Bishop Michael Sheridan

16 Oct 2009 United Palestinian Appeal with Ghassan Tarazi

20 Oct 2009 Abbott Thomas Davis Group

20 Oct 2009 EOHSJ, USA Northwestern

23 Oct 2009 Bishop Robin Leamy, SM, and Pat McCarthy with New Zealand Catholic Group

26 Oct 2009 EOHSJ, Magdeburg, Germany

28 Oct 2009 EOHSJ Dortmund, Germany

29 Oct 2009 EOHSJ, USA Northern with Bishop Robert Finn

3 Nov 2009 EOHSJ, USA Northwestern with Rev. Eric Hollas




19 May 2009 – 8 December 2009 Signum Fidei: $150,000 + Bethlehem University Foundation The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, Mr. Rateb Rabie Founders Club: $50,000+ ABU: Association en faveur de la Bethlehem University Belgian Technical Cooperation Deutscher Verein vom Heiligen Lande, Herr Heinz Thiel EOHSJ-Grand Magisterium, H.E. Cardinal John Patrick Foley European Commission Mr. and Mrs. Frank Jungers Mr. Jack A. McCrane Ministry of Education and Higher Education, H.E. Mrs. Lamis Al-Alami Mr. Jose Joaquin Said Saffie, Bethlehem 2000 Palestine Foundation, Chile MISSIO, Rev. Dr. Hermann Schalück, OFM The Breast Cancer Research Foundation Trustees Club: $25,000+ Catholic Relief Services De La Salle Provincialate-Australia, Br. Ambrose Payne, FSC Schmidt Family Foundation The John C. & Carolyn Noonar Parmer Private Foundation, Ms.


Bethlehem University


Carolyn Parmer Wick Family Foundation, Fr. Josef Wick Chairman’s Club: $10,000+ Aid to the Church in Need Arab Student Aid International (ASAI) EOHSJ-Germany, S.E. Dr. rer. pol. Heinrich Dickmann EOHSJ-North Central Lieutenancy, USA, H.E. Jack Rapp, KC*HS EOHSJ-Northwestern Lieutenancy, USA, Lt. Lady Mary O‘Brien, LGCHS Sr. Mary Kay Milne, OSU Mr. Mario Nazzal, Bethlehem 2000 Palestine Foundation, Chile Chancellor’s Club: $5,000+ Rev. Fr. Thomas Baima Fr. Desmond Berry, KHS, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Frau Dr. Maria Elisabeth VeltenBock Mr. and Mrs. Elias Botto EOHSJ-Northern Lieutenancy, USA, Lt. George T. Zirnhelt, KC*HS EOHSJ Germany Province South West Germany, Frau Rosemarie Hagenbucher-Kehl Five Brothers Investment Rev. Fr. Adam Forno, KHS Frau Rosemarie Hagenbucher-Kehl

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Mayhew Middle East Children‘s Alliance (MECA) Mr. Donald Orscheln, Orscheln Industries Foundation, Inc. Mrs. Mary Simon in memory of Brother Daniel Casey Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres, Mother Myriam Kitcharoen, SPC St. Bridgid‘s Parish, Fr. John Pearce, CP The Brigidine Sisters, Masterton Community United Holy Land Fund (UHLF) United Palestinian Appeal (UPA) Vice Chancellor’s Club: $1,000+ Ms. Maysoon Abdelhady Dr. and Mrs. Samir Abu-Ghazaleh Mr. John Albina Mr. Bashir Anastas Anonymous Sir John and Lady Ann Marie Arnold Mr. and Mrs. James Barmettler Bethlehem Association Scholarship Fund, Dr. Edward A. Hazboun Herr Aloys Bolle Brother Dennis and Associates Program, St. Agnes Church, Rev. Lee Roos Brothers of the Christian SchoolTuron Community, Br. Francis Eells, FSC Mrs. Jane Anne Borst in memory of Larry Borst Christians Aware Scholarship


Fund, Mr. Bernard Kilroy Christian Brothers Community Lewis University, Br. William Walz, FSC Christian Brothers Roncalli Community, Br. Thomas McPhillips, FSC Mr. and Mrs. Jack Curran Dr. and Mrs. Raja’i Dajani Mr. George E. Doty EOHSJ-Western Lieutenancy, H.E. Sir Patrick D. Powers, KGCHS EOHSJ-Swiss Lieutenancy, Gran Priore Mons. Vescovo Pier Giacomo Grampa, S.E. Giorgio Moroni Stampa Rev. Paul Esser Experience Travel and Tours, Ms. Linda Ramsden Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Eyerman Mr. Bob Fahrer Mr. and Mrs. James Frane First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Rev. David W. Good Friends of Bethlehem UniversityIreland, Prof. John Kelly Ms. Joan Tonning Hug in memory of Mildred Tonning Mr. Edward Karkar Mr. Nils Kamsvaag Harry and Ana Katz Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Keene Fr. Stefan Kemmler Mr. and Mrs. Michael Ladah Ms. Mary Levin Mr. John McCaffrey, KCSG, KCHS Mr. John O’Hagan in memory of Baby Mary O’Hagan Miceal O’Rourke Herr und Frau Neidhart Palestine Securities Exchange Barbara Reynolds in memory of


Bethlehem University


Joseph Reynolds Mr. Yasuhiko Sata Mr. Dany Shein Mrs. Charlene Shoen Mr. and Mrs. Sandor Straus Mr. Dimitrios Thanos The Assumptionist Fathers Community, Wellington The Parish of Corpus Christi, Headington, Rev. John Baggley Trust International Insurance Company Mr. and Mrs. William Voss Fr. Don Willette, Blessed John XXIII Catholic University Ministry Special Friends ($500+) Rev. John Baggley Mr. and Mrs. William E. Ball Mr. and Mrs. Robert Becquet Br. Martin Borg, FSC, M.Ed., De La Salle College Dr. and Mrs. George Carey Ms. Margaret Coulter De La Salle Institute, Br. Richard Moratto, FSC EOHSJ-Germany, Province Rhineland Westfalia, Herrn Dr. Hans-Peter Niedrig in memory of Prof. Dr. Tacke Mr. Mike Giacaman Mr. G. K. Glynn Bishop Emeritus Ambrose Griffiths Ms. Erica Hahn Mr. Mohammad A. Hamdan Mr. and Mrs. Thurmond Jackson in memory of Hadiya Bitar Ω Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Jezycki ¶ Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mertz Mr. W. Dennis Owen, AFSC Monsieur Marcel Paris

Rev. Bruce Shipman Mrs. Zita Smith, St. Theresa’s Primary School, Plimmerton Mr. Joseph Tan Mr. Mario Toumayan Dr. Eddie Uehara U.S. Catholic Holy Land Pilgrimages, Rev.Fr. Alex Kratz, OFM Mr. Anthony Watkins Rev. Mark White, CP Century Club ($100+) Anonymous in honor of Br. Jerome Sullivan Rev. Patrick Armstrong, Our Lady and St. Hugh Parish Rev. Andrew Ashdown, Friends of Sabeel-UK Mr. and Mrs. Ross Bacica Mr. and Mrs. Frits Bergman Mr. James J. Biedron Br. Peter Bray Donna & Robert Boies Dr. John Borelli Mr. and Mrs. John Butterfield Mr. Guy Butterworth Ms. Carole Cannon Dr. Claire and George Carey Br. Robert Carnaghi, FSC Ms. Joan Castellan Ms. Susan M. Castellan Catholic Theological Union, Fr. Donald Senior, C. P. Christian Brothers of the Midwest, Miguel House Community Christian Brothers, Bishop Walsh Community Cenacle Sisters, Wellington community Rev. Msgr. Joseph Ciampaglio Mr. Charles Clifford


19 May 2009 – 8 December 2009 Mr. Stephen M. Colecchi, D.Min. Rev. Robert Crawford, M.M. Monsignor John R. Dale Prof. David Depew Mr. Joseph M. Derham Jenny and Mel Desembrana Ms. Ann S. Dickson Ms. Elisabeth Dilas Dr. and Mrs. Jared H. Dorn Fr. Garret Edmunds, O.F.M. EOHSJ-Germany, Dortmund section EOHSJ-Germany, Magdeburg section Dr. Samira El-Zind Dr. Richard Ellenbecker Rev. Kail Ellis, OSA, PhD Br. Edward Everett, FSC Mr. Barry and Mrs. Angela Fairweather Rev. Joseph R. Farrell, KHS, English Martyrs Catholic Church Mr. Anthony J. Fasano Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Finnegan Mr. Christopher Foley H.E. Cardinal John Patrick Foley Mr. and Mrs. Athol Forrest Mr. and Mrs. Craig Foster Dr. Frederic Gannon, M.D. Fr. David Garcia Mr. John Gardner Mr. Greg A. Gaut Ms. Maryn Goodson, Westmoreland Congregational Church Br. Paul Grass, FSC Rev. Msgr. Edmund O. Griesedieck Mr. Nicholas Griffin Br. John Guasconi, FSC Msgr. James Habiger Rev. Larry and Mary Hansen Lily and Albert Hazbun


Bethlehem University


Mr. and Mrs. Paul Helmer Br. Peter Henderson, FSC Mr. and Mrs. L. J. Henry Mr. and Mrs. Pat Hoggard Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Howen Mr. Kent Hughes Ms. Lourdes Jalando-on Rev. Michael Karunas Ms. Theodosia Ola Kehinde Br. James Kelly, FSC Ms. Veronica Kerr Drs. Nabil and Mouna Khoury Mr. and Mrs. Walter Kimbrough Mr. and Mrs. Ivan King Mr. & Mrs. John Jay King Mr. and Mrs. Mike King Br. Bernard Knezich, FSC Dick and Sandy Kolasa Mr. and Mrs. Hans Kruitwagen Rev. Msgr. Raymond J. Kupke Msgr. Richard LaRocque Geraldine Lawhon, LCHS Mr. and Mrs. James Leahy Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Leddy Br. Anthony Lenz, FSC Mr. Kevin Mackey Rev. Fr. Paul Maddison Mrs. Celia McArdle Professor Vincent J. McBrierty Mr. James McCavitt Rev. John McCormack Mr. Nigel McFarlane Dr. and Mrs. James McGill Mrs. Anne McHugh Ms. Cecily McNeill Mrs. Rosemary Mellor Herrn Burkhard Migge Msgr. Dennis Mikulanis, S.T.D., San Rafael Parish Mr. and Mrs. Don Minore Mrs. Cheryl Minvielle Br. Dale Mooney, FSC

Ms. Alice Moore Mr. and Mrs. Glen Mueller Ms. Geraldine Munoz Drs. Frank and Mary Neal Ms. Charlotte L. Nesseth Mr. and Mrs. Jose Niembro Mr. Joseph T. Nix Sir John Nutley, KCG*HS Mr. and Mrs. Maurice David O‘Daniel Mr. Ron W. Ohmes Mr. Joe Oram Mr. and Ms. Paul Perera, Sri Lankan Catholic Association-UK Mr. Peter Phelan Mr. and Mrs. John Pielemeier Fr. Mark Pierce Ms. Jean Pike Mr. Lawrence Pfundstein Mr. & Mrs. James O. Phillips Mr. Matthew Pico Professor Alain Pique Deacon Sir Richard and Lady Katherin Pizzato Mr. Chuck and Mrs. Ede Radloff Br. Joseph Reilly, FSC Mr. and Mrs. Curt Reis Mr. and Mrs. Peter Ryan Rev. Fr. Patrick Sammon, St. Anthony of Padua Parish Mr. and Mrs. Louis A. Santalesa Vincent E. Shaw, KGCHS Ms. Della Shenton, 5th Gospel Retreats Mr. and Mrs. Art Sheridan Fr. Owen Sinclair, Our Lady of Fatima Parish of Waikanae Sisters at Bethany Convent Barbara and Louis Smith Mrs. Heather Sangster Smith Ms. Lorraine Sostowski Þ Ms. Ana Spitzmesser

THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY 19 May 2009 – 13 October 2009 Ms. Eleanor St. John Rev. Brian Stanley Mr. and Mrs. John Steger Ms. Linda J. Stine Mr. Reinhard Suchsland Professor Daniel van Steenberghe Mr. and Mrs. Sandor Straus Ms. Kathleen Taylor Dr. Paul E. Teschan, M.D., F.A.C.P. Mr. and Mrs. Michael Toso Ms. Gloria Truitt Mr. and Mrs. W. van Gaalen Ms. Sonia Vandama Br. Joseph Ventura, FSC Ms. Kristin Walker Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Waring Mr. and Mr. John Watkins III Patrick White and Pauline Smetka Mr. and Mrs. Denys Wright Ms. Lorraine Ybarra Mr. James H. Yocum Mario and Mary Vivian Zelaya in honor of Thomas Burk, Kathie Burk and Moriah Grey Silver Anniversary ($25+) Ms. Elizabeth Adolph Mr. Gregory Appleton Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Arena Ms. Gloria S. Ash Ms. Ann Bailey Mr. Amir Bannoura Mr. John Barry, III Dr. and Mrs. Gabriel Batarseh Br. Dominic Berardelli, FSC Mrs. Maria C. Berna Dr. Eleanor Shaheen Braddock, M.D. Tony and Marie Brear Mr. and Mrs. John Castle Mr. and Mrs. Juan Catapang Mr. Michael Chojnacki Dr. John L. Connolly, DDS Mr. and Mrs. James Corcoran Mr. Charles Curry Legend

Þ Patricia Barbernitz Endowed Scholarship Fund, St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Community of Columbia, MD Ψ Siman Family Endowed Scholarship ¶ Jan and Gordon Forbes Endowed Scholarship Ω Madeleine and Shehadeh Botto Endowed Scholarship


Bethlehem University


Mr. and Mrs. William D’Souza Ms. Elizabeth J. Dawson Mr. Tim Devane Ms. Elisabeth Dilas Ms. Ruby Donato Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Dorsey Mr. Albert Doumar Mr. Tom Dowd Rev. Joseph Doyle, SSJ Mr. Norman Ewers Mr. and Mrs. Doug Fake Ms. Sheila Ferguson Mr. Robert Fernandes Rev. Martin Flatman, St. Peter’s Church Pam & Jeremy Freeman Mr. and Mrs. Robert Friel Greg Gaut and Marsha Neff Ms. Therese Giana Mr. and Mrs. Edward Grayson Mr. Michael Gwilliam Mrs. Jana Hall Mr. John Anthony Hilton Ms. Vera Masrieh-Homsi Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Howen Rev. James Kane H.E. William Cardinal Keeler, DD Dr. David H. Kelly Mrs. Elizabeth Kilkenny Sr. Martha Ann Kirk Mr. Fritz Kitowski Mr. and Mrs. Alan Krause Mr. and Mrs. Bill Lambert Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Laubach Frank & Julie Litecky Ms. Barbara Lubinski Mr. and Mrs. L. R. Macaskill Ms. Patricia Mach Mr. and Mrs. Donald Mahoney Mr. John P. Martin Br. William Martin, FSC Ms. Maria Martindale Mr. V.G. McCardle Mrs. Kathleen McCartain Br. Joel McGraw, FSC in memory

® Summerhayes Endowed Scholarship for Religious Studies ¥ Brother Joseph Loewenstein Endowed Scholarship Fund ß Marguerite Sa’ad Endowed Scholarship Fund đ Beatrix Stork Endowed Scholarship ♣ Edward Stork Endowed Scholarship

of Br. Vincent Malham, FSC Mr. and Mrs. Des McMahon Ms. Alice Meyer Mr. and Mrs. K.E. Moody Mr. Donald Muncy Rev. Dr. Stephen W. Need Ms. Daisy G. Neves Ms. Jean Ann Nolan Mr. and Mrs. Maurice O‘Connell Mr. and Mrs. John O‘Leary Mr. and Mrs. Julian Obmaces Ms. Dolores G. Oller Luke and Elaine O`Reilly Br. Benedict Oliver, FSC Professor Carolyn Osiek, RSCJ Don and Linda Patera Mr. and Mrs. D.W. Pryor Ms. Anne Rado Mrs. Susan Record Mr. and Mrs. David Robinson Desmond and Mary Rogan Mrs. Ann Ross Br. Basil Rothweiler, FSC Dr. Judith Schaefer, O.P.Ph.D. Mr. David Schultze II Mr. Robert Schwendau Dr. Charles C. Scott, Ed.D. Sr. Marie Skidmore Mr. and Mrs. Art Sheridan Mr. Kenneth Solak Mr. Michael Sommers Fr. Kris Sorenson St. Patrick‘s Parish of GeorgetownInvercargill Mrs. Dolly Sullivan Mrs. Gill Tebbs The Institute de Notre Dame des Missions Br. Frank R. Walsh, FSC Mr. and Mrs. William Jr. Waring Mrs. Barbara Warner Sr. Wanda Wetli Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Wirtel Mr. and Mrs. John Zemblidge Ms. Paula Ziadie Matching gifts & Bank of America United Way Campaign ₣ NSTAR Foundation ** PG & E corporation


Bethlehem University


It is your support that makes possible all that we do and we are deeply grateful! As illustrated throughout this publication, your donations strengthen the University and its educational and professional development services to the Palestinian people. Your contributions are greatly appreciated and allow us to continue this most vital and significant work in the Holy Land. Especially endowment gifts provide permanent support for various activities at the University. Gifts from the local and international community can be made via check payable to “Bethlehem University” or by bank transfer through the Development Office at Bethlehem University. Contact:

In the United States, Bethlehem University is a tax deductible nonprofit, eligible for employer matching grants (Tax ID 22-2997011). Checks payable to “Bethlehem University” can be mailed to:

Brother Jack Curran, FSC, PhD Vice President for Development PO Box 11407 92248 Jerusalem

Brother Dominic Smith, FSC USA Development Office Hecker Center, Suite 330 3025 Fourth Street, NE Washington, DC 20017 – 1102

Tel: +972 2 274 1241 Fax: +972 2 274 4440

Tel: 202 526 6097 Fax: 202 526 6096

For information about tax refunds and donations from the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and other countries please visit our homepage or contact us at

Gaza Student Initiative

Gaza Student Completes Her Bachelors Degree from Bethlehem University Bethlehem University continues to seek support for other Palestinian students from Gaza to enroll in and attend courses at the Vaticansponsored Bethlehem University – as well as at all other Palestinian universities in the West Bank or Gaza.

11 January 2010: Bethlehem, Palestine • Ms. Berlanty Azzam completes course requirements for her bachelors degree! • She did it! You did it! We did it! • 75 days from when she was blindfolded, handcuffed, and taken from Bethlehem to Gaza • Berlanty graduates in Gaza at the Holy Family Church • Bethlehem University expressed gratitude to Gisha and to thousands of local and international friends who joined in the efforts to seek justice for Berlanty. • “I am so happy and grateful to my teachers and all of the friends of Bethlehem University who came forward to help me. I really worked hard and prayed for this moment and will do my best to help others who seek to study at my university” said the exuberant 22-year-old Berlanty Azzam.

Bethlehem University officials traveled to Gaza on Sunday, 10 January to mark the occasion of Ms. Berlanty Azzam completing her semester courses, to encourage other students from Gaza who seek to pursue their education at Bethlehem University or other Palestinian universities in the West Bank, and to recognize the more than 430 other graduates of Bethlehem University from Gaza. Brother Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor, the Papal Nuncio H.E. Archbishop Antonio Franco, Chancellor, Brother Joe, Vice Chancellor Emeritus, and Trappist Abbott Thomas traveled to Gaza for the 10am Mass at the Holy Family Church where they met Ms. Berlanty Azzam and her family and friends as well other Bethlehem University students who await permission from the Israeli military authorities to

come to Bethlehem to pursue their education at the Vaticansponsored Bethlehem University. As reported in the Washington Post, CNN, BBC, America Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Maan News and other media, Berlanty’s case drew highlevel attention: including inquiries from the State Department of the United States, members of the US Congress, members of Parliaments and Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Ireland, the UK, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Australia, as well as Vatican officials, Cardinals, and Bishops Conferences in Canada, the UK, the United States, and Germany. Pictured above are other Bethlehem University students from Gaza who still await permission from the Israeli military to come to Bethlehem for their university education.

Pray for them and help to support our “Gaza Student Initiative” efforts.

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